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Purpose: To describe and compare the treatment pattern of patients with hypertension using the JNC 7 guideline, and to assess patients’ body mass index (BMI) and their knowledge of hypertension in a Nigerian secondary health care facility.
Methods: A cross-sectional, prospective, and observational study of 200 consecutive patients was conducted. Data were gathered on the patients’ demographics and clinical characteristics, including body mass index. Patients’ knowledge of hypertension was assessed using a 9-item instrument. Descriptive statistics was used to compute percentage frequency distributions of the variables. Inferential statistics employed Students’ t-test and one-way ANOVA at 95 % confidence interval. Results: Females were 131 (65.5 %), 138 (69.0 %) were either overweight or obese, 107 (53.5 %) had blood pressure ≥ 160/100 mmHg (Stage 2); 150 (75 %) did not know that hypertension is chronic and 132 (66 %) were not aware of risk of non-adherence. Poor knowledge of risk factors was associated with gender, marital status, income, and level of education (p < 0.05). Patients, 167 (83.5 %) received a combination of two antihypertensive medications with 88 (44 %) having thiazide diuretic as first line, and lifestyle modification was not an integral component of care.
Conclusion: Most patients received thiazide diuretic medication but not lifestyle education. Obesity was a common risk factor among the study group. Patients’ knowledge of hypertension was below average and they may need to be educated on hypertension and its effective management using drugs and lifestyle changes.
Keywords: Antihypertensive medication, Hypertension, Lifestyle, Nigeria, Patient knowledge